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DrCez last won the day on October 21 2010

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    Prius T3 (Gen 3)
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  1. DrCez

    Prius T4 Speedo

    ?Thanks B&J If I reset Trip A or Trip B and maintain a constant speed (based on the main speedo) for a short period, the average trip speed (AVS) is always lower than that indicated by the speedo (e.g. travelling at 50 mph indicated the AVS might settle down at around 45 mph). This is another experiment that supports the idead that the 10% error is just added in (assuming the car uses the same signal for both measurements). As others have said I find that the mileage is accurate when compared with sat nav or tools like Google Maps. Fuel consumption, however, is not (out by about 6%) and Range is literally miles out. 10% seems overly generous for a modern vehicle - my back of an envelope calculations suggest you'd need the tyre diameter to change pretty dramatically to get anywhere near misreading by that amount; I would have thought a 2-3% over-read would easily be enough tolerance to ensure the speedo never under-reads.
  2. Update: I went back to my dealer and we had a discussion about how much life was left in the rear discs. It became apparent that the corrosion was pretty well advanced, especially on the inside of the discs, so I got the rear discs and brake pads replaced (for £266 including labour). The dealer was unable to offer more than tea and sympathy (and a car wash :)) although the service centre manager did recommend periodically braking hard from high speed as a way of preventing this happening again on the new set (but to be careful doing this!). I wouldn't say my mileage is especially low (about 7K p.a.) but I think my main problem is it's a lot of city driving (max 40 mph), not helped by the local (Scottish, coastal) climate ;). So if you're in a similar situation read back through this thread for some excellent advice from CO2Slave and others. I do plan to get in touch with Toyota GB and I'll let you know what, if anything, they say.
  3. So if you use your brakes and wear them out, that is wear and tear (fair enough). But if you don't use your brakes and they corrode in less than 18 months that is also wear and tear? Head Mr T wins, tails you lose. :( You've hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned. I'm visiting my Toyota service centre on Monday and will be making that point: it seems likely that the discs have corroded due to lack of use, exacerbated by following advice in the user's manual to maximise fuel economy (brake gently to maximise regenerative braking). Right now it feels like I've cost myself several £100's in repairs while saving, say, £10 in petrol. For the record, I've double-checked and the car had done just over 15K rather than the 14K I quoted in the thread title (but I wonder if most of the corrosion had already occured by the end of March?). The safety report comment says "rear brake discs very corroded, pads 70% worn". This sounds contradictory but I'm assuming (since the typically more heavily used front brakes are presumably okay) the pad wear was caused by the corrosion. Thanks again for all the discussion: at least I feel like I'm learing some useful tips from this thread. For example on my commute I get a chance to brake in neutral from about 50 mph when I'm about 5 minutes from home; when I tried this yesterday the rear discs still had some heat in them when I got home, so that will help to dry them out from time to time. No doubt Kingo is right in that my driving patterns and location are tough on the discs, although I wouldn't have thought I'm that unusual In my case I doubt the corrosion was due to leaving the discs wet after washing given how infrequently that is done ;) (and when it was washed it has been with a water-free system). However, the car is kept outside at home (although in a covered car park at work) and I can well imagine the discs not drying out often up here in the winter, with the added problem of road salt eating away at unpainted metal surfaces, topped off with a couple of months of snow which really does make a big difference - I've seen what that can do to cheap bicycle parts! (I wonder how folk in Norway manage?). And the final nail in the coffin?: I take the plastic wheel covers off in the summer, although I do replace them in the winter (it's dark so I don't really see them :)). At the end of the day I don't see the point in Toyota-bashing: I just want to make sure I'm being treated fairly, to learn from the situation, and hopefully feed something back to Toyota so that they can help others avoid this problem in the future.
  4. Thanks all for the replies and suggestions. I plan to contact Toyota GB and set up a meeting with my dealer before getting the disks sorted out. With any other car I would also take the vehicle to another garage for a second opinion but I think I'll stick with Toyota where the Prius is concerned; the next nearest Toyota dealer is 1 1/2 hours away & not really practical to visit for this kind of thing. I'll let you know how I get on...
  5. My Gen 3 has just had its second annual service and I was advised that the rear brake disks have corroded to the point where my Toyota dealer recommends they are replaced along with the pads. This was disappointing as the car has done 14.5 K miles and anecdotally it seems that the Prius brakes can last a long time thanks to the regenerative braking taking a lot of the strain that conventional brakes might otherwise have to cope with. The brakes haven't been done yet (I need to find time to get the car back to the dealer, and to come to terms with having to part with a few hundred pounds for the bill!) but in the meantime I wondered if there is anything I can do to prolong the life of the next set? Some background: the majority of my driving is in rush-hour city traffic on roads with 30 or 40 mph limits. I try to drive with the flow of other traffic but do try to go easy on the brakes to try to maximise the use of regen braking. In Aberdeen we did have a lot of snow early in 2010 and again at the end of the year - cold enough for packed snow to remain on back roads for several weeks, and I recall one journey in particular over a few hundred miles where it was so cold the "winter formula" screenwash kept freezing and even trunk roads were covered in packed snow. I wonder whether these conditions are solely responsible for the corrosion or whether there is something else I can try. Visually I can see that the rear disk surfaces are more grooved than the front disks (but I'm not a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination!). There was no comment from the dealer after the first annual service (which took place after the car had been through one of the hard winters mentioned above). Any thoughts/comments/experiences from the rest of you would be much appreciated!
  6. Not sure, but I think I heard that the credit card slot is for the Toyota technician to jam his electronic equipment to read battery stats or something like that. In my car, if I stick my bank card in there and enter my PIN £50 appears from under the dash followed by a "thank you for using the fast lane" message :D
  7. "........... are no use; the outline of the car can be seen before the lights. I think cars could be improved by adding another warning light to show when dipped headlights are on. At present they only show sidelights or main beam and the only way to be certain that you have dipped lights on is to try the switch. The government could help as well by spending a little of our money on a publicity campaign. What's the point of another warning light? It is illegal to use fog lights when visibility is more than 100 metres and a warning light is provided to show when they are on.... How many idiots do you see with fogs on with their headlights in perfectly clear daylight or even at night.... Education and PROPER policing is the answer IMO... Not another light on an already crowded dash... I think Opifex is talking about a dash light to indicate dipped headlights are switched on which is something I really miss on my Prius (and my other half's Yaris). IIRC all my previous cars did have such a light - I had assumed it depended on the manufacturer: Toyota don't provide one on their models whereas Ford, for example, do? Front fogs are a separate issue. I can appreciate the distraction a rear fog light causes when used inappropriately but I just don't get the problem with using front fogs instead of/alongside dipped headlights during poor daylight conditions. If someone finds DRLs/front fogs distracting in the day, how on earth do they manage at night with oncoming traffic using dipped headlights? Maybe it's a perception thing but I am afraid I will continue to be one of the "idiots" who uses front fogs as an alternative to DRLs (I don't have them) because I think it makes the car more visible to others at junctions and sideroads (I judge when to used them based on how visible other vehicles appear to me, and not because of vanity!). I appreciate other road users making their vehicles more visible especially on gloomy days or when the low winter sun is shining. Presumably legislation for DRLs was brought in because the improved visibility lessens the chances of accidents?
  8. I agree, it does sound like the squeals could be caused by corrosion on the brake disks (you may be able to see it through the wheel spokes). The Prius (and other hybrids) are prone to this as the disks don't get used very heavily, hence the remedy suggested by Timberwolf. My Gen 3 makes a rubbing noise pretty much all the time (even if I have done braking in neutral) but I can only hear it when I have the windows open, so I haven't worried about it. Also if a particular brake is binding I think the disk will be hot to the touch (you can test just by putting your finger on the disk when the car is safely parked). None of my disks seem to suffer from this so again, I haven't worried about it. More mechanically minded folk may be able to recommend doing something with the brake pads and/or disks but I leave that sort of thing to the garage mechanics.
  9. Kithmo, I wish you'd posted that suggestion 3 minutes earlier: it would have saved me a lot of typing :) I know Prius drivers tend to be from the more mature end of the age spectrum, but surely you're not suggesting a Prius driver may have had a "senior moment"???
  10. Hi MLW. First of all welcome to TOC - I'm sure the tone of some of the replies above is more out of concern for you and your new Prius rather than to imply you've been a very naughty boy! Something doesn't look right here to me. If I understand you correctly, when the last bar started flashing you continued for another 27+2 miles, so 29 miles in total, and the entire trip after picking up the car (starting with 2 bars showing) was about 67 miles. As quoted in other threads the consensus is that there is about 2 gallons left in the tank (I'm quoting gallons rather than litres because then it's easier to estimate your range from the mpg figure) when the last bar starts flashing, so typically over 100 miles. I would therefore have expected your car to still have enough fuel to cover 70 miles or so which is roughly 6 litres, so you should only have been able to put in another 39 litres or so at Tesco's since the tank capacity is 45 l. I have a Gen 3 Prius and the "beep = 2 gallons" rule of thumb seems to tally with the amount of fuel I can fit into the tank when refuelling. Based on what ian rooke says it is similar for the Gen 2. The Gen 3 beeps when the last bar starts flashing - if your car didn't beep then you might have covered a few extra miles before noticing how far you had travelled, but even so you should have had plenty of fuel left assuming you travelled 67 miles and started with two bars showing. The Gen 3 shows an estimated range and IIRC this is not available on the Gen 2 but you're not missing out because the Gen 3 estimate is very inaccurate as the tank nears "empty" :). I think the pumps at all fuel stations are regularly checked for accuracy so would very much doubt it is an issue with Tesco's gauge. I had a quick look at Fuelly (www.fuelly.com) where you can drill down into stats for individual cars. During a random browse I found a driver from Portugal who appears to regularly allow their tank to get pretty empty. They have got up near your figure of 46.77 l a few times and quote one tank up at 52.67 litres. I can't comment on the accuracy of Portugese petrol pumps but it does seem to indicate that it is possible to get significantly more than 45 litres into the car. So if I have understood your mileage numbers correctly it would appear to me that your Prius's fuel gauge may be a bit suspect. If I were you I would keep a note of your mileage between fill-ups, aim to refill by around 350-400 miles, and make a note of how much goes in each time. Subtract that from 45 l and it should give you a feel for the fuel/range left in your own car and the number of bars it is displaying on the fuel gauge. I'm sure you've got the message that it's not a good idea to run out of petrol! Even though the car could continue on its HV battery alone it would only manage another 1-2 miles and there is a big risk of seriously damaging the battery. Finally one other remote possibility is that your fuel consumption was, for some reason, significantly higher than the quoted 55-65 mpg. I very much doubt this is the case but it would be worth checking that you reset the trip each time you refuel (or if the Gen 2 has two trips like the Gen 3, make sure you know which one you're reading and when it was last reset). I hope some of the above helps - enjoy your new car :)
  11. The concept is okay but the battery on the Gen 3 Prius is a few orders of magnitude too small to manage the climb. To try to give an idea of what it can manage: on my daily commute I descend into a valley, which typically gives the battery a full charge, and then climb up the other side in slow moving traffic (at about, say, 10 mph). Usually the battery is down to 2 bars (at which point the engine kicks in) by the time I reach a roundabout (Aberdeen's notorious Haudigan); according to the map this is a vertical climb of about 25 m. If I enter a multi-storey on full charge I can probably manage to ascend a maximum of 4 or 5 levels before the battery runs low - in the same ball park as the 25 m climb mentioned above. I tend not to use EV mode - I find it kicks me out for all sorts of reasons so I get on better by keeping the acceleration low enough to stop the petrol engine kicking in. I don't know Birdlip Hill but I've had a look online and it looks like the A417 climbs about 140 m to the roundabout, and almost 200 m to the very top. Faced with that sort of climb I'd forget EV (and mpg) and try out the PWR button When it arrives, the plug-in Prius might stand a chance so it would be interesting to see how that got on with Birdlip Hill, although I don't know if it would be able to go fast enough for the other traffic in EV. Recharging is not symmetrical - i.e. the car needs more than a 25 m vertical drop to fully charge. Anecdotally I think my car will fully charge coming down one particular hill which has a vertical drop of about 75 m. That said there are a couple of roundabouts including one at the bottom so it might charge up more efficiently if the car could coast more (I'm on the brakes all the way and almost at a standstill for the roundabouts). So if you can coast/brake and avoid the accelerator you'll easily charge up coming down Birdlip Hill - in fact I'd imagine you'll get the extra bar at the very top of the battery to light up which is something that only happens on long hills as the car will try to get rid of excess charge before that happens. It might even be a candidate for using the "B" position on the gear selector, something which I very rarely get to try out.
  12. DrCez


    Hi Sweens, well I see this effect so there are at least two of us :) Sometimes I drive using glasses and sometimes with contact lenses and the "ghost" images are identical, so I'm convinced it is to do with refraction or something similar happening in the windscreen. The effect I see is as you describe: for example headlights of oncoming cars appear to have a slightly dimmer image just below them, a bit like foglights (or DRL's). I can't remember but there may also be a ghost in the HUD as well. My guess is that it is just to do with the angle and thickness of the windscreen (possibly it is more pronounced depending how tall you are / your seat position?). I suppose you could ask your dealer to try out sitting in another Prius to see if the same effect is visible, at least you'd then have an idea whether the effect is better or worse in another car. I've just got used to it - for me it is noticeable but I reasoned that other conditions (e.g. rain) have more impact so I just live with it. Also I live in Aberdeen and the nights are so short at the moment that few drivers are using their lights when I'm out and about. Perhaps you should ask me again in the winter and I might feel differently, but I've managed two winters in my Gen 3 so far without it getting too annoying.
  13. I'll assume you were in a Prius as you asked about supply from Japan in another post (the Auris is built in the UK). I don't do that much long-distance driving but typically average mid 50's mpg travelling on motorways around mid 70's mph so your figures look really good to me. Bear in mind the Gen 3 Prius exaggerates its mpg figures a little - by about 6% for my car. I think the biggest controlling factors are air temperature, tyre pressures and driving style. This time of year is when I see my best mpg stats in city driving. You can expect mpg to drop in the winter - I would estimate low to mid 50's on the motorway. Traffic can actually help because the car's mpg is much better at lower speeds although slowing for lots of roundabouts is usually bad news. If you're stopped or slow-moving long enough for the HV battery to run down and require the petrol engine to recharge that will hurt the mpg but other than that I'm always impressed how efficient the Prius is in traffic. Personally I think on any given day the prevailing wind direction is also significant but I don't hear a lot of discussion about that. On the motorway I don't think ECO/PWR/normal makes much difference to mpg but I don't have cruise control (I try to accelerate without getting into the red area, I'm not sure what the cruise control does in different modes). 74 mph indicated will be below 70 mph actual - but you probably knew that :) According to my sat nav my Prius is reading 76-77 mph when its true speed is 70. When the last bar starts flashing on the fuel display you still have about 2 gallons left. Normally this would be enough for another 100 miles + but the range will say much less, so don't panic! In summary it looks promising and bodes well for when you've really got used to the car. Keep up the good work
  14. DrCez


    I also had a look at the Insight (back in summer 2009) before I bought my Prius. I tend to agree with Seamaster's summary, although the fuel consumption difference is not huge, especially compared with the Gen 2 Prius (see Kithmo's post with Fuelly stats). A couple more details from memory: the electric motor assists the petrol engine and cannot run independently of it, but at low speeds the engine valves are closed so the car is effectively running solely on electrical power. The gearbox is a CVT - I don't know if it has belts etc. but I don't think it is as clever as the power split device in the Priusn (and possibly less reliable?). You don't get a spare tyre - just a repair kit (a bit like the Gen 3 sunroof Prius). The car is smaller than a Prius; there is far less rear passenger room (head and leg space) and the middle rear seat is set very high/could only be used by a child. I don't know how much the re-tuned suspension helps but when I tried it out my impression was that it was much less refined at motorway speeds (lots of road and wind noise). The ECO display features on the dash are helpful, but don't add anything over the HSD in the Prius. At the time I was looking, the Gen 3 T3 Prius (which is a step up in terms of overall build quality) was just out and priced pretty close to the mid-range Insight (ES trim I think?) so the Prius seemed much better value to me. I don't know how they compare now but had the price differential been bigger I might have been more tempted by the Honda. In the end I felt it competed okay with the Gen 2 Prius but was some way short of the Gen 3. FWIW I think Honda made a mistake in making the Insight so similar to the Prius. For example, their hybrid system could be used with a manual gearbox and with a less Prius-like body shape it would be a more distinct offering.
  15. Some other ideas you could consider (I've skipped the ones I don't know about!): I think there is a difference, but fuel consumption depends a lot on driving style and the kind of roads you are using. Some drivers in the US claim they get better mpg (do you use l/100km in Thailand?) in PWR mode (not true for me though). You may be able to feel the difference if you change mode while under acceleration (if it is safe to do so!), especially if going up a long steady slope. The change is not instant - it probably takes one or two seconds after toggling the ECO button, but when I try it and keep my foot in the same position on the accelerator it is noticeable. No, we don't have the auto locking feature, but there is a manual button and a locking button for the windows I think. Make sure you lift off the accelerator completely before pressing it gently again - if you just let the HSD drop into the ECO section the engine does not necessarily shut off. Otherwise it could be that another load is working on the engine such as the aircon, as Jan&Tone suggested. On my car the engine comes on to recharge the battery when it gets down to 2 bars (although EV mode is only available if the battery is on 4 or more bars) but above that it will almost always shut off if I completely lift off the accelerator (unless the engine is cold, it needs heat for the cabin, or it is not in the mood for some other reason I can't figure out :) ) Many people have reported problems with condensation on new cars, which improves as they get run in, although in the UK it typically happens on cold winter mornings, so not something you would expect. The UK models have heating wires (rear demist) on both the upper and lower back windows so it is not really an issue for us. I'm guessing that is not the case in Thailand? Hopefully the a/c should remove moisture over time and you could also try keeping the boot cover open to let more air circulate at the back. The other problem with the lower rear window pane is that it gets very dirty in wet conditions (again especially in winter over here) so I kind of got used to driving without really being able to see through it, although I do prefer it clear! HTH, and don't worry about your English: it is much clearer than some of the posts on here from people who supposedly speak it as a first language ;)
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